Latrobe, PA - The Geneva College softball team has been waiting patiently for four years to have an opportunity to compete in the Presidents′ Athletic Conference tournament. After a four-year provisional phase, the Golden Tornadoes finally got their opportunity on Thursday and they took full advantage on day one of tournament play. Geneva defeated top seeded and host Saint Vincent 3-1 in the opening round before turning away Westminster 2-1 in round two. The sweep pushed Geneva′s record to 29-17 on the year and more importantly guaranteed a spot in Friday′s championship round. The Golden Tornadoes will take on the winner of Westminster and Thiel in Friday′s consolation final on Friday morning. The winner of that game will have to defeat Geneva twice to claim the PAC crown. The winner of the PAC tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III regional play-offs next weekend.
Geneva used a familiar formula on Thursday that included a pair of stand-out pitching performances from senior hurler Julie DiLonardo. DiLonardo went the distance in game one and allowed just one earned run on four hits. She struck out eight and walked just one batter in picking up her 25th victory of the season. Geneva opened the scoring in the first inning when Christina Fuqua singled after one out and scored on an Ashley Davis triple to right field. In the third inning, Fuqua doubled home Martha Adams and Davis hit a sacrifice fly that scored Andrea Hinds to give Geneva a 3-0 lead. Saint Vincent scored its only run in the sixth inning but DiLonardo held on for the victory.
In game two, Westminster scored its lone run of the game in the fourth inning. The Golden Tornadoes tied the game on a two-out RBI single from DiLonardo. With the game tied heading into the final inning, Geneva struck for the potential game winner. Davis led off the inning with a double and ultimately scored the go-ahead run on a Brittany Clark sacrifice fly. DiLonardo set the Titans down in order in the seventh to earn her second victory of the day and 26th of the year. DiLonardo allowed three hits in the night cap and struck out three in the victory.
Geneva will seek its first ever PAC title in just its first year of eligibility on Friday afternoon at 1 pm.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College′s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education.